I was recently involved (as a participant) in a strategic planning event; the facilitator, Alan Pue, was discussing many of the ways that planning — and its subsequent implementation — can go wrong.
In part of that commentary, he mentioned as an example a firm’s inability to adapt to a necessary change in the market, and how that inability adversely affected their performance. Alan wasn’t sympathetic to their plight, nor even empathetic. In fact, he made it clear that the problem was their own doing, and the resultant pain was of their own creation. They did it to themselves, have no one else to blame, and these lessons — though valuable — can be painful.
When we act so dumb in business that we can’t get out of our own way, the resultant pain is our own doing. Sort of like touching a hot stove, we hopefully learn that we shouldn’t do that again.
Stupid should hurt.